Letter O: Oreo Cupcakes with Swiss Oreo Buttercream Frosting
Letter O stands for “Only Option Considered is Oreo”. So good. I’ve been waiting for this flavor for such a long time (almost since I first started this blog!), but at the same time, I’ve also been a little afraid of it. How do I put cookies in the batter without them getting mushy? What will the texture be like? A million other questions like that haunted my dreams for days (well that might be a bit of an overstatement…), but nonetheless, I still thought Winter Break would be the best time to experiment with a potentially risky recipe. Also, my AMAZING cousins happened to be visiting for the holidays (hi Celia and Emma! They’re practically regulars on the blog seeing as they also helped with the delicious fudge brownie cupcakes), and we all thought Oreo cupcakes were sounding pretty yummy at the time! 🙂 So don’t worry, I will be getting to letter N eventually, but for now I hope you guys enjoy Letter O: Oreo Cupcakes!
Recipes combined/adapted from:
Oreo Cupcakes with Swiss Oreo Buttercream Frosting
Oreo Cookie Crust (for bottom base of cupcake)
3 cups finely crushed or ground Oreo cookie crumbs (40-45 cookies)
6 tablespoons melted butter
Place cookies in resealable ziplock bag and crush with hammer, or pulse cookies in food processor until finely crushed/crumbled.
Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter in bowl until thoroughly combined (look for even consistency)
Spoon crust into bottom of cupcake liners (just under a centimeter thick)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place previously made Oreo crust in bottoms and press down to level and flatten. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Swiss Oreo Buttercream Frosting
2 cups sugar
8 large egg whites
4 sticks softened, unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Oreo cookie crumbs to taste (I think I used about 2 dozen cookies)
Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. This can take a while so be patient! (Here’s a tip: when you transfer to the mixer, make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. This can keep them from whipping up properly.)
Add the vanilla.
Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip, whip, whip.
(Now, if you choose to make it even more Oreo-y, fold in the cookie crumbs until evenly dispersed)
Even though I was initially a little afraid of this recipe, I think these cupcakes turned out really well in the end! I love how they’re not your standard batter and super sugary frosting combo. In fact, these cupcakes took a bit of thought and planning, so I guess I’ll just share some quick tips, notes, and explanations with you now! To start off, before we even bought the ingredients I had been a little worried about how to incorporate an Oreo base without it getting mushy. Then I started thinking of some of my other favorite Oreo desserts and remembered my favorite part has always been the crust, which led to the less conventional cupcake with a cookie crust. The next thing I thought about (actually my awesome cousins brought this one to light!) was the amount of sugar that would be in these cupcakes and whether or not they would be too sweet. When we tried one even without frosting it tasted good, so that’s why, after a bit of searching, we decided to go with a swiss buttercream which has an awesome texture but isn’t nearly as sweet. Now I know the icing as well as the batter requires a lot of egg whites, so instead of using close to a dozen eggs and being stuck with all the yokes, I just bought a carton of pure egg whites instead. (I’m pretty sure that’s like some snooty baking no-no, but it worked out just fine in the end!) If you choose to go the liquid egg whites way, you can substitute 2 tablespoons liquid egg whites for one egg’s worth of whites. Now if you’re worried about the eggs being used raw in the frosting, they’re actually being cooked enough to kill the bacteria since it has to get hot enough to dissolve the sugar anyways (or so I’ve been told… at least none of us got sick after eating it, if that helps at all!) Lastly, I’m not sure if any of you notice how skillfully the frosting was globbed onto the cupcakes, but unfortunately it was not due to artistic license but because the cookie bits in the frosting wouldn’t fit through the icing tip. Therefore, I would either advise you to crush the cookies into extremely small almost crumb-sized bits or go for a spreadable approach before the icing bag gets clogged. So yeah, I think that’s about it! These cupcakes are SO good, and they’re more of a fun/not-so-ordinary/perfectly balanced recipe than your standard flavors. So please try these cupcakes; I highly recommend them!
P.S. I did end up trying a few cupcakes with a full Oreo cookie base (as opposed to crust), and while they are still delicious and would work just as well in a pinch, I think the crust is definitely worth it if you have the time! Also, those adorable cupcake liners that you can see in the picture above were a Christmas gift from previously referenced awesome cousins, and I just wanted to point them out on the blog and say thanks!
So until next time,